Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center

Educational Opportunities

Educational opportunities abound at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center and include informal public programs and kids fishing events to in-classroom programs, on-site classroom programs and teacher development sessions.  

Public Programs

Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center offers a variety of public programs year-round for all ages, including shooting sports, wildlife conservation, fishing, plant identification and more. Most public programs are free, but pre-registration may be required since space is limited. 

Kids Fishing Events (2nd - 6th grade)

Kids Fishing Events provide children the opportunity to get "hooked" on fishing! Staff provide basic fishing instruction, gear, bait and a special event pond (catch and release only). One adult chaperone for every five children is required for ages eight and up and for every three children under age eight. These events are free, but pre-registration is required (50 student maximum/day).

Cost: These events are free (max. 50 students/day) unless combined with a Discovery Center program (in which Discovery Center fees apply).

Outreach Programs (3rd - 7th grade)

Live animals in the classroom are a wonderful way to introduce students to Georgia's wildlife diversity and cover state-required Georgia Performance Standards.  Five outreach programs are available to schools within a 90-minute drive from Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center (Mansfield, GA), which includes Atlanta, Athens, and Macon.

Each one-hour program includes demonstrations and live animals. Staff can visit up to three classes per day (max. 40 students per class).  Available programs topics include: Vertebrates, Aquatic Ecology, Birds of Prey, Endangered Species, and Reptiles.  Program scheduling begins in early August for the following school year, so call early!

Cost: $120 per classroom program ONLY for schools within a 90-minute drive from Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center (Mansfield, GA).  Staff can visit up to three classes (40 students/class maximum) per day.  Auditorium programming is also available.

Oureach programs are also provided on a limited basis for civic groups, scouts, and special events. 

For further details or to schedule an outreach visit, contact Pete Griffin at 770.784.3059 or pete.griffin@dnr.state.ga.us.

On-Site Day Programs (K - 5th Grade)

The Brooke Ager Discovery Area offers a hands-on and multi-disciplinary approach to wildlife education where students use science, social studies, math, and reading comprehension skills while exploring nature in a fun and rewarding way. This three-part field trip covers required GPS topics for up to 50 students at a time. Teachers may book these 3 (1-hour class) options.

*Teachers also be sure to give an inclement weather option, in case some of the activities outdoors cannot happen on the scheduled field trip date.

Brooke Ager Discovery Area Program Descriptions (Grades K-2)

Turtle Talk:

Students will get up close and personal with some of Georgia’s native turtle species and do activities that demonstrate their adaptations within one of Georgia’s 5 ecoregions. The Lake at the Brooke Ager Discovery Area provides the perfect backdrop in these lessons.

GPS Standards: S1L1; SKL2; S5L1; S4L1

Vertebrates:

Ever wonder how the backbone operates and why only some animals have them? What makes this particular adaptation important? In this lesson, Students will get a first-hand look into Georgia’s native animals that contain backbones and do experiments to understand how a spine operates.

GPS Standards: SKL2

Backyard Naturalists:

Students will get a chance to become explorers of their backyard. Lessons in observation and the first steps of the scientific method will be done on the Brooke Ager Discovery Area lawn. Students will do an outdoor scavenger hunt and investigate relationships. Guided inquiries will allow them make comparisons between wild and domestic animals.

GPS Standards: SKCS3; SKL2; S1L1; SKS6; S1CS7; S1CS3; S2CS7; S2CS6

Nature Story time:

Here the students will be read a story from one of the titles listed below by a naturalist and given hands-on lessons about ecology and conservation that the story contains.

Book Titles to choose from:

  • The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
  • Clifford’s 1st Autumn by Norman Bridwell
  • My Best Nest by Ree Dellinger
  • Other titles available on request

GPS Standards: SKP1

Snakes Alive!

Do you know which Georgia snakes are venomous and which are harmless? Using live animal teaching aids, students will learn about the adaptations of these reptiles and learn what makes them well suited for Georgia’s ecosystems and part of .

GPS Standards: S1L1, S5L1, S4L1

Pond Study: (April 1st-November 15th)

A pond investigation provides the perfect opportunity to demonstrate the connections and food webs within an ecosystem. By searching with nets, using field guides, and guided observation students gain skills and discover the adaptations of some amazing aquatic creatures. They also will learn how some animals are indicators of water quality.

GPS Standards: S6E3, SKCS6, S4L1, S5P1

Sensational Seeds:

What makes a seed and why are seeds so different from each other? Students will be given basic lessons in seed dispersal and why a forest has high plant diversity. Students will also learn the parts of a seed and what is needed to make a plant grow.

GPS Standards: SKL2, S1L1, S4L2, S4L1, S2L1

Plant Hikes:

Students will Develop sensory awareness while learning basic identification of leaves and parts of a plant.

GPS Standards: SCS1, SKL2, SKP1, S1L1, S2L1, SKE2, S4L1

For Grades 3-6. We can book can book any of the above programs for your school if your classes are at these grade levels, you also have these options.

Kids Fishing Events (April-October) See above description

Habitat Hike:

What makes up a habitat? Who needs habitat? Students will see an array of habitats while hiking at Charlie Elliott. They will also get a close up and interactive look into the diversity of life that occurs within macro and micro habitats.

GPS Standards: S6E3; S3L1, S3CS7, S4L2, S5L4

Tree ID Hike:

Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center’s wooded setting provides the perfect opportunity to study our native forests. During this interactive hike, students will learn how to identify trees using structural characteristics and field guides. GPS Standards: S5L1, S3L1, S4L1, S4L2, S5L1, S5L4.

Basic Birding:

Grab some binoculars and get set for some bird diversity at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center! Children will learn to use a field guide while identifying several of Georgia’s native bird species. They will learn the basics of this leisurely outdoor recreational activity, learning how to identify birds by sight and sound.

GPS Standards: S5CS3, S4L1, S5L1

Nature Journaling:

Students will get a basic perspective in some scientific writing when they create their own nature journal. Just like many famous scientists and conservationists, students will gather their observations and hypotheses through a journal. Join naturalists on an interpretive hike through Charlie Elliott’s forests, ponds, and fields and discover several details on noting Georgia’s habitats and wildlife.

GPS Standards: S5CS8, S5CS5, S6CS8, S6CS9, S3L1

Insect Adaptations (April 1st-November 15th):

Students visit the pond, forest, and field searching for and comparing the insects that play a key role in those ecosystems. During the exploration, students discover the unique adaptations of pollinators, decomposers, and why they are important.

GPS Standards: S3L1, S3L2, S4L1, S4L2, S5L1

Custom programs also are available. Please contact us and we will create an engaging program that suits your needs.

Registration at a Glance

  • Number of Students Brooke Ager Discovery Area can accommodate up to 50 students per day.
  • Program Cost $5.00 per student/day with a $60.00 per day deposit.
  • Deposits are deducted from the total charge.
  • There is a $120.00 minimum fee for all groups.

Program Time K - 2nd grade: 9:30-12:00; 3rd - 5th grade: 9:30-1:30

For more information or to register for a program, call (770.784.3059) or email Amber Mooney (amber.mooney @dnr.state.ga.us) or Pete Griffin (pete.griffin@dnr.state.ga.us)

Homeschool Programs (3rd- 7th grade):

Monthly homeschool programs offered during the school year. The center’s forests, lakes and streams provide an excellent setting for outdoor learning. The indoor classrooms and live animals enhance the experience by providing up-close wildlife encounters.

The drop-off program is designed for the home-schooled student, emphasizing peer cooperation along with individual exploration. Each program covers a different topic, but all programs include hands-on learning, self-discovery, and outdoor fun. Through hikes, experiments, games, and investigation, we will uncover the secrets of Georgia’s wildlife and habitats.

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